From the announcement of the new the catapult centers in Oslo Friday (left-right): Knut Mørk (ReSiTec), Bernt Inge Øhrn (MIL), Lars Petter Maltby (Eyde Cluster), Håvard Moe (Elkem), Gro Eide (Elkem), Luc Dionne (Tekna), Morten Henriksen (Arendal Fossekompani), Espen Susegg (SIVA) and Kjell Johannessen (University of Agder/Green Energy Network). Photo: Arne Roger Janse

FutureMat, a new national catapult center for future materials will be established in Agder.

A broad industrial group, which includes Mechatronics Innovation Lab, Eyde Cluster, Elkem, Resitec and Castor Drilling Solution, is part of the new center, which was announced in Oslo Friday.

The ambition is to establish a world-leading technologically center, and a low-threshold offer for the many small and medium-sized Norwegian businesses.

38 industrial groups applied for a catapult center, but only two were awarded such a status and public funding: FutureMat and Raufoss.

FutureMat will cover pilot production for the entire value chain from metal manufacturing to the production of nano particles. Mechatronics Innovation Lab (MIL) at the University of Agder in Grimstad will be one of three key testing locations. The other two will be at Elkem and at Resitec.

“This is yet another national recognition of the highly skilled industry sector in southern Norway. FutureMat will complement MIL in a very good way, and we will have a broad foundation for developing MIL further, “says Bernt Inge Øhrn, CEO of Mechatronics Innovation Lab. He is eager to add a top floor to the newly opened lab in order to make room for FutureMat.

“The catapult centers provide the Norwegian business sector a unique opportunity to test new technology and smart solutions. The centers will be important building blocks for Norwegian industry and technology, in the face of the green shift and stronger global competition. With their testing facilities, networks and high level of competence, the catapult centers will play an important role for industrial development throughout the country, “says Jan Tore Sanner, Minister of Local Government and Modernization.

Catapult centers are funded by SIVA, Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway.